Ode to penises

Written by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D.

This is exactly what my life is like some days.

But let's give the penis fair dues. I've described it as a workhorse, Watson to the clitoris' Holmes, and that's true. Where the clitoris is discriminating and specific, the penis is... well it's personable, extroverted, good-tempered. The penis stands up to greet you, like an ill-trained puppy who meets you at the door.

Not to say the penis isn't shy, too. Shine a spotlight on it, demand a performance RIGHT NOW DO IT GO and it will stare up at you in helpless, frozen panic. The penis wants to be loved, but if you could love it without drawing anyone's attention to it, that really would be better. The penis is self-conscious.

But as long as it's not the center of attention, the penis is at your service, the gallant gentleman, ready and willing to jump into the fray and do what needs to be done. Give a little attention and affection, and it warms right up to you. Adore it, and it's yours forever, utterly smitten with anyone who'll just like it, this soft, absurd, vulnerable appendage that belies all a man's bluster and pomp.

You must never take a man too seriously, no matter how smart, powerful, or big he is, because tucked way down in his pants he has this soft, sensitive bundle of reproductive organs. We all know it, and the world would be a better place if we never let men forget that we know it.

Culture tries to sell the penis as a mighty dagger, an unsheathed sword with which the male conquers his prey. Big, hovering and dark it looms, a probing extension of a man's overpowering virility.

Yeah, I don't buy that for a minute. Sure, the penis swells, but it swells a like a little boy discovering that he got the birthday present he really, really wanted! Big? Even the largest penis is small relative to the man it's attached to.

The penis is low maintenance. It never asks for its salad dressing on the side, you know? The penis doesn't wait six months to tell you that something you said hurt its feelings; it's forgiving, lenient. Don't worry about it, the penis says, how 'bout a quick one to show there's no hard feelings? Where the clitoris might shut down, the penis is ready to let go of the past and live in the present.

We could learn a lot from the penis, if only we could abandon the cultural myths constructed around it to keep men safe and in charge.

Haven’t installed it yet?